As I drove to Memphis, Tennessee I wondered what it would be like. Memphis is such a big town and known all over the US, I have never really been to a town that big so of course I was a little nervous! As I pulled into town that morning I immediately seen familiar faces, which is always so nice to see! We all piled into several trucks and made our way to our first stop of the Memphis rodeo, the St. Judes Hospital. I tend to get very uneasy about going to hospitals. First of all they always smell funny, second of all, every time I have ever been to one it’s not for a good reason, and lastestly because it breaks my heart to see people having to go through pain or any misfortune. Once we all reached the hospital we were given “the tour.” This tour consisted of finding out about how the hospital came about and how every child is being taken care of and that no one is ever left behind for any reason. We learned about how they would fly in patients from other countries or even across the US to come and get the proper treatment! While at the hospital Colt 45, the rodeo clown had ran into a family that was being treated there, the family is from his hometown and the little girl is basically a hero in their town! We all stopped and talked to the family and really enjoyed how her face would light up when all of the cowboys and cowgirls would hug her or high five her! Before the tour was over we ran into another young man who everyone called, “The Bossman.” He was so sweet and we had been told that he received treatment that day and was feeling a little under the weather but he was not shy at all when it came to getting a picture taken with us! The children made the entire experience worth every second of being there!
During the rodeo I was able to ride two different horses! I started off the night on the pick man, Tom’s horse Geranimo, I then switched and rode a horse named Arnold. Arnold was a very pretty blue roan that was very good at his job! I was able to help in the arena throughout the night and I also had some great help. Dallas who is the son of Jim, the stock contractor came in and helped me chase back both nights of the rodeo! Dallas and I had a great time working the arena and getting to ride some awesome horses!
When the rodeo was over Saturday night in Memphis I had to pack up and head straight down to Shawnee, Oklahoma for the IFYR 27! I was very excited to get there and to be apart of the IFYR. I had heard so many cool things about the event and I could not wait to experience it myself! The drive was about eight hours long, so plenty long for an all night drive! Once in the car and headed down the road I was of course tired but I stuck it out and was able to make it just in time that morning to catch a quick nap and get ready for the first of eleven performances that week!
The first performance was that Sunday evening! Once getting to the arena I met the family who would be there helping me out and taking care of me! They were all so kind! We took off in the golf cart to find a horse for me to use during the rodeo week! By the way Shawnee and the IFYR are golf cart central, I think everyone there owns one and if they don’t they will soon! Either way on our way to locate a horse we found the wonderful Steve Ratchford who was so kind and offered up his horse Scamper for me to use as my fly by horse! I hopped on and rode him around to get a feel for him! I felt as though I was buying a horse and had several to choose from as there were a couple of other people there too who had offered for me to use their horses as well. After the test ride on Scamper we decided he would be perfect for the job! As I took my new trusty horse over to the gate to enter everything was going perfect! I had just been lined up for my first fly by during the IFYR, across the three arenas I went, but not to fast. As Scamper and I entered the arena he had a different idea of fun. Scamper crow hopped across the first arena and into the second arena and before reaching the third we had each other figured out! At the end of the run I passed him off to Steve and laughed with him about how his horse was now warmed up and ready to flag all night! I rode Scamper the rest of the week while I was there and we never had another issue! Scamper was a great horse and lots of fun to ride. Not to mention I had several people laugh about it and tell me how high they scored my ride!
Shawnee was a blast and I hate that I was not able to stay for the entire event but I of course was booked and off to another rodeo! Columbia, Tennessee was my next stop and I left bright and early Thursday morning to be sure to make it in plenty of time!! Well I have to run now as there are many things to do still and this girl could actually use some shut eye! Stay tuned and continue to follow my journey on the road this year! I can’t believe it's half over already! I hope all is well wherever you are and I pray that all of you are enjoying the nice weather we have been having this summer!
Miss Rodeo USA 2019